Staines Moor Signal Box

euryalus

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A question has arisen regarding the wartime signal box erected at Staines Moor by the Southern Railway during World War Two. Briefly, a Ms. source refers to the box having windows on all sides, unlike a GWR 'ARP' box which would have been designed to withstand blast damage. But the SR had its own 'ARP' design, and so one assumes that Staines Moor Box would have followed this pattern - did anyone ever take any photographs of this comparatively rare signal box?
 
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RailUK Forums

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GA Pryer's book on Southern Signals (pp24-28) has a number of photos of various wartime boxes (I use the word deliberately!), all of which have front and side windows - and he comments that a bomb blast would have done nothing more than blow out the windows.
There are no rear views, unsurprisingly, and Staines Moor is not referenced.
 

euryalus

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My question was not about the rear window, as such. The reference that I have seen implies a cabin with a fully-glazed operating floor which did not conform to the usual SR design - I thought all SR boxes post 1930s were in effect 'ARP' designs of brick construction with small windows?
 

John Webb

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My question was not about the rear window, as such. The reference that I have seen implies a cabin with a fully-glazed operating floor which did not conform to the usual SR design - I thought all SR boxes post 1930s were in effect 'ARP' designs of brick construction with small windows?
According to "The Signal Box - A Pictorial History and Guide to Designs" by the Signalling Study Group (all members of the Signalling Record Society) and published in 1986, they refer to the standard SR ARP box as an SR 'Type 14'. It was of brick construction with relatively small windows in the front and ends, from the photo of Gomshall and Shere in the book. I cannot be certain about Staines Moor box, but further information from the SRS archives* show it was a Type 14 and that the lever frame was at the back of the box, so extremely unlikely there were any windows at the rear?
*Edit - see Randy Ripple's link below for the appropriate page.

Your comment that an Ms. source implied windows were on all sides made me look afresh at the Historic England entry for the Grade II listed St Albans South box and that happens to describe our box as "1st floor fully glazed with two bays of 3 lights and one bay of 2 lights: small paned sliding casement windows." yet we have a very solid wooden back wall (except where it started leaking badly earlier this year!) so I wonder if the writer of your Ms. source automatically assumed that a solid back wall would also be assumed by any reader?
 
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randyrippley

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The concept of 'Type X' to describe a particular signal box was initiated in the 1986 book referred to in my post #5 above as a convenient short reference to describe a signal box and give an indication of its age and characteristics.

So it postdates the actual build and could easily be misleading.........arguably trying to impose order where it didn't really exist?
 

pdeaves

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So it postdates the actual build and could easily be misleading.........arguably trying to impose order where it didn't really exist?
Yes, but no not really. The categorisation was created by an enthusiast group to help other enthusiasts in that group understand some finer points rather than spelling out every time 'it has a flat roof and windows on three sides' (or whatever). It's no more misleading than almost any other internal jargon when used in the proper way by the proper people. (note, I have no connection with SRS so the terminology used makes no difference to me).
 

John Webb

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So it postdates the actual build and could easily be misleading.........arguably trying to impose order where it didn't really exist?
The "Notes for the Reader" in the book cited above explains:
The 'Type' classifications of signal box designs used in this book are entirely our own invention, and in no case do they represent contemporary terminology.

There was an order in which railway companies built their signal boxes - and of course very few gave their boxes any form of identification; to them the design of box they were using at any one time was their 'standard design' even if it had evolved from previous designs. So as with any form of group looking at past history, there is a need to be able to refer to differences in the past in a convenient short-hand way. Hence the above 'Type classifications'. One can draw parallels with archaeological or architectural dating practices, perhaps?
 

euryalus

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The description says "Unlike World War Two Great Western 'ARP' boxes, the cabin was glazed on all sides (offering no protection from blast). A chemical toilet was installed for the benefit of the signalman, but there were no main services – all lighting being by means of oil lamps". At best, this is misleading and at worst simply incorrect. If the box was indeed a so-called "Type 14" it would have been of Southern Railway ARP design. The text will have to be re-written!
 

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